Weather Closings

Who determines if we are going to have a snow day?
Ultimately the decision is up to the Superintendent of Schools.

What is a snow day?
A snow day is a day that school is cancelled due to weather. Of course, school can be closed for a number of reasons, but weather-related issues are the most frequent reasons for school closures.

What is considered when deciding to have a snow day?
There are two key factors in determining whether or not to have snow day. These factors are: 1). the safety of students and staff and 2). The value of teaching and learning.

  1. Safety - For our school district, high winds, extreme cold, and resulting windchill factors will be the primary threat to the well-being of students. Guidelines provided by the National Weather Service serve as a guide for determining the impact of wind and temperature. Based on this guidance, windchills approaching negative degrees Fahrenheit would warrant the possibility of a school closure. Another weather-related factor to be considered is snow accumulation. Given the time needed for snow removal from village streets, the school parking lot, and the school drop-off loop heavy snow accumulations could be a reason for school closure. Of course, strong winds combined with heavy snow would increase the likelihood of a possible school closure.    
  2. Value of Teaching and Learning - as an educator, I place a great deal of importance on the acts of teaching and learning. Given this fact, if the decision to close school was borderline, I would err on the side of having school. We want students in school so they can maximize their opportunities for learning.
    What if school is open and you (the parent/guardian) think it should be closed? In these instances, as a child’s parent/guardian you have the right to keep your child home. When providing the written excuse for your child’s absence just indicate that it was due to the weather.    

When is a decision made about school closing?
After communicating with others a decision would typically be made by 5:30 AM. Deciding this early creates some complications and opens the door for second-guessing. The reason a decision is made this early is so families can begin to plan childcare and supervision for their children. Also, staff who drive to work will benefit from knowing about the school closing before heading out to drive in unsafe conditions.

When school is closed can there be other activities at the school?
No. Student activities can be another factor weighing on the decision to close school. For example, let’s pretend that there are three nights designated for a play to be performed. On the third performance date the weather is very bad in the morning and the weather begins to clear by the afternoon. Would we still have the play performance? No. When school is closed ALL school activities are cancelled for that day/night.

Where can parents/guardians look to find out if school is closed?
In addition to using our all-call system, school closing information will be posted on our School District webpage and it will be available on local television stations and their webpages.

How many snow days can a school have?
Student safety is our first priority. If the conditions warrant closing school to protect students, then we will close school. There are FOUR snow days built into the school calendar. This means that we can have four school closures without impacting any other school vacations. Once we exceed four school closings, we will begin to use days that are currently planned as vacation days to ensure that we are in attendance for the required 180 days.

Each family has its own factors to consider whenever there is a school closure. As an organization that houses over 1,200 people each day, schools have multiple factors that must be taken into account when determining whether or not to have school. I haven’t met anyone yet who can predict the weather with a great deal of accuracy, so we will make snow day decisions based on what we know and with an eye on keeping students safe.